Inspired by the history of Urania Cottage, a home for ‘fallen’ women founded by Charles Dickens, Sport For Jove and She Said Theatre present the Sydney premiere season of Seanna van Helten’s new Australian work, Fallen at the Seymour Centre from 6 April 2017.
London 1848. Six women have been given a second chance. Their pasts behind them, they have been promised a clean slate on the other side of the world in the new colonies of Australia. Sealed off from the outside world, they cook, they clean, they sing, they sew – they practice the art of being female while they wait for their new lives to begin.
But as the date of departure draws near, the women begin to wonder what reinvention will cost them. What will such promises make them do? And what about the fall yet to come, the tumble down the edge of the world to a far-away continent…What is waiting for them? Are they prepared for it? Are they ready?
“Fallen is the story of six complex female characters who have been told by their society that the ways they have been living their lives aren’t right” said Director Penny Harpham. “They are trapped by their circumstances – as women, we understand that often there isn’t a sole antagonist in our lives, we’ve grown up understanding that oppression is much more structural and often more subtle and more difficult to disentangle ourselves from – and that is the struggle of all of the characters in Fallen.”
Developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Script Workshop 2016, and following on from its successful first public reading at the WITS Festival Fatale, Sport For Jove and She Said are excited to bring this imaginative work to the Reginald Theatre stage.
Seanna van Helten is a writer and co-Artistic Director of She Said Theatre. Works written for She Said Theatre include the award-winning and Green Room-nominated HART (co-written with performer Ian Michael); Laika and Wills (Melbourne Fringe 2013); Breaking (co-authored and co-directed with Penny Harpham, Melbourne Fringe 2012); and is currently developing Salt for the company, premiering later this year at Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre.
Seanna has also published writing in Griffith REVIEW and Voiceworks, contributed as an arts writer to Milk Bar Mag, and is the former Arts Editor of Brisbane’s Rave Magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Queensland and of the University of Melbourne, where she received the Percival Serle Prize. In 2014, Seanna completed the Master of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Director: Penny Harpham Featuring: Abbie-lee Lewis, Chantelle Jamieson, Eloise Winestock, Lucy Goleby, Megan Holloway, Moreblessing Maturure, Rebecca Montalti Composer/Sound Designer: Raya Slavin Costume Designer: Chloe Greaves Set Designer: Owen Phillips Lighting Designer: Sian James-Holland Video Designer: Michael Carmody Stage Manager: Lillian Hannah U Assistant Stage Manager: Kimberley Alexander Playwright: Seanna van Helten Producer: Anna Kennedy
Reginald Theatre – Seymour Centre, Corner City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale.
Season: 6 – 22 April 2017
Image: Fallen – photo by Sarah Walker